Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Quotes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

List of Figures

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

List of Music Examples

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

CD Playlist

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xx

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxi-xxiv

Surely, the true importance of a project like this lies in the wonderful human contacts for which it has served as pretext. Herewith, my heartfelt thanks, served up in alphabetical order. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-13

When I first came upon this passage, I had been studying Boccherini for less than a year. Studying him as a musicologist, I should say: as a cellist, I had known his work for years before musicology entered the picture, having learned one or two of the sonatas, as student cellists still routinely do.1 ...

read more

1. “Cello-and-Bow Thinking”: The First Movement of Boccherini’s Cello Sonata in E♭ Major, Fuori Catalogo

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 14-37

Anyone who performs old music or who has written about its history can attest to identifying with composers. The identification can be a haunting or an irritating experience, containing as it does the potential for possession or invasion; shot through with sorrow, since, in Western classical music, so often the composer is long dead; ...

read more

2. “As My Works Show Me to Be”: Biographical

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 38-64

On 18 March 1799, at the age of fifty-six, Boccherini sat down to write a letter to his publisher Ignaz Pleyel, who had asked him to produce works that were simpler, briefer, and more accessible to the amateur. (We must infer this from Boccherini’s reply, since Pleyel’s letters are lost.) Pleyel had been publishing Boccherini’s music in Paris since 1796. ...

read more

3. Gestures and Tableaux

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 65-104

Eighteenth-century treatises on performance contain frequent apostrophes to performers to lend their attention to the visible elements of their performances, by making their feeling selves available to sight, and instrumentalists were not exempt from this expectation. Up to a point, we approximate this in current concert practice. ...

read more

4. Virtuosity, Virtuality, Virtue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-159

The first movement of the Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, has long been a favorite of mine on account of its opening phrase (see example 11; CD track 18). Two descending sextuplet groups outline an elegant, tender gesture of descent. The graceful decorativeness marks it immediately as galant; it emerges as sensible too, ...

read more

5. A Melancholy Anatomy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 160-206

In 1993, doctors at the University of Pisa honored the 250th anniversary of Boccherini’s birth in a rather unusual way. They exhumed his “quasimummified” corpse from the Chiesa di San Francesco in Lucca, where it had been since 1927, took it to Pisa, and there performed “a complete paleopathological examination” of it.1 ...

read more

6. “It Is All Cloth of the Same Piece”: The Early String Quartets

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-253

In August 1804, Leipzig’s Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung published an article on the performance of string quartets, signed “Cambini in Paris.” After a series of musings in an early Romantic vein on the technical and spiritual obligations of the four musicians came the following passage: ...

read more

7. The Perfect Listener: A Recreation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 254-270

Despite assertions of their subsequent enduring friendship in the obituary for Boccherini that appeared in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and elsewhere, we can be fairly sure that the two men never made direct contact.4 But Haydn would have had plenty of opportunities to become acquainted with Boccherini’s music. ...

Appendix: Chronological Table of String Quartets

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 271-272

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 273-330

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 331-344

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 345-350